Local woman given medal from U of T

A member of the University of Toronto alumni for 65 years, Mildred Brockie received a medal in the mail last week for her part of the school’s Chancellor’s Circle.
“I was asked to wear it with pride, and I’ve been doing so,” the Fort Frances resident said, adding she’s been wearing her medal around the house since she got it.
Brockie had been invited to a ceremony in Toronto back in May to receive the medal in person, along with other 65-year alumni, but wasn’t able to attend.
“I imagine there’s quite a few others who’ve received the medal, too,” Brockie noted. “Although, when I think of it, three out of the seven friends who graduated with me are dead.”
A Fort Frances native, Brockie went off to Victoria College at the University of Toronto in 1935, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree four years later.
“I lived in residence all through school. I enjoyed it,” said Brockie, noting that some things have changed since then.
For instance, the school at that time only had about 7,000 students. Including all three of its campuses nowadays, the U of T boasts about 63,100 students (37,900 of which are full-time).
“Lots of interesting things happened in those days. There were lots of memories there,” recalled Brockie, adding some other people from Fort Frances also attended the university around the same time as her, including Barb Murray.
After graduating, she got a job as a teacher just outside the Toronto area, which she stuck with for two years before moving to Dryden to teach at the high school there.
She then worked in Schumacher for another year until her fiancé, Dave, came home from World War II and the two married.
The couple moved back to Fort Frances, where she continued to teach while he went to work for a local jeweller, ultimately taking over the business known today as Brockie’s Jewellers.
Brockie has tried to keep up to date on school happenings over the years, and has remained a supporter of the school. in 2000, she and another alumni, Sylvia Mereddu, were featured in “Border Lines”—an alumni magazine for the U of T.
Brockie was among the first alumni who had agreed to help finance the Alumni Gates built at the College Street entrance to the St. George Campus. These gates commemorated the 100th anniversary of the University of Toronto Alumni Association.
“As soon as I read about the gates, I knew I just had to be a part of it so I replied right away,” she had said in the magazine article. “I don’t think you can ever repay what you gain from U of T.”
When recounting the article last week, Brockie noted the magazine has a circulation covering “almost every part of the world,” and, with a laugh, remarked that’s the closest to fame she’ll ever get.
Brockie said she remembers her school days fondly, and still thinks highly of the university where she made some lifelong friends.
“I’m still in touch with anyone who’s still alive,” she remarked.